The SHOPS Plus project conducted a market shaping assessment of pregnancy tests in Lusaka, Zambia, which shows that there has been improvement since 2014 in the availability of pregnancy tests in public clinics. It also shows that, while the demand for pregnancy tests has increased, there are occasional and sometimes frequent stockouts of the tests at public clinics.
Those interviewed as part of the assessment suggested that public sector clients often obtained pregnancy tests in the private sector prior to visiting a public clinic due to the general perception of inconsistent availability. Redirecting family planning clients to the private sector to purchase a pregnancy test can result in a delay in contraception start, cost to the public clinic client, and ultimately the possibility of client drop-off.
There may be opportunities for continued improvement of Zambia’s public sector procurement and supply security of pregnancy tests through the enhancement of procurement and logistics procedures, joint forecasting of pregnancy tests and contraceptives between the public and private sectors, aggregation and ordering mechanisms including bundled procurement, increased supply chain visibility, identification of logistics issues, and improved funding.